Sleepless D: There were a few problems and I've rewritten some of the chapters and added some stuff, anyway, I had an interesting thought, what if Naruto wasn't found by the Third Hokage when he was a baby? What if he was found and raised by someone else in the wilds for years before they found him? I don't own Naruto, what a shame. Peace out.
Update: Got some flamer that liked Hinata and thought I'd inform those that like Hinata that she'll be weak in the first 13 chapters but she gets much, much stronger after a certain event, read on to be mesmerised.
Update 06/02/2013: I'm now trying to fix this, sorry if it doesn't work as well as I hope, just read...I'm working on it, please just read.
Update 04/09/2015 READ IT: Right, I am a little self-conscious and I have to warn you, there is similarities in the first 7 chapters, but then obvious changes are taken, I won't spoil it. And there are a few scenes the same as the Chunin exams which I am again not proud of, but again, it does change rapidly at the second part of the exam. And can you please stop telling me to reread my work, it doesn't help much, if a person made a mistake, it doesn't help. I didn't speak till I was 7, I didn't write till I was 11, I didn't start writing stories till I was 17, I'm just glad I'm even able to get this far in life. I am working on it and in the future, I will likely unite the series together, improved, grammar fixed and removal of plot holes and improved scenes and may even add new scenes in the future, it may be years from now, but it's a plan I want and will probably ask for some help with grammar. Although I do know on some level that you don't have a capital letter at the end of a speech mark, though it's become a habit and there's over 200,000 words in this story, so if you want the perfect grammar story, it'll be for the 'The Forest Series Enhanced' or something, because it would waste too much time and I want to make it the best once I finish the series completely.
On a fateful night, the 10th of October, the air is unmoving, but the pressure of the air is making some people unable to breathe. The Nine Tailed Fox is the cause and its very presence is destroying the Hidden Leaf village. The Nine Tails vanishes as suddenly as it appeared, leaving nothing but horror, relief and pain. The former Hokage, Hiruzen Sarutobi has been pursuing their scenes to where they feel the Nine Tails, knowing the Fourth Hokage has taken it away. An ANBU team appear and follow Hiruzen, aiming to assist while every other Shinobi tend to the wounded. They find themselves near the Nine Tails, but caught outside a barrier, confused since they see that it's Kushina's barrier. They wait, watching from a distance, but unsure what is going on, but in the distance, they see the Nine Tails in the distance decomposing rapidly and its body collapsing.
The Nine Tails is slowly dissolving and its eyes are grey, its lips pealing back and showing its teeth and gums as it too dissolves and turns grey. The Fourth Hokage, Minato and his wife, Kushina lie on the ground nearby, a few feet from the Nine Tails' clawed paw. The two human bodies are beginning to go cold as both seem to of been reaching for a small, naked baby a mere foot away. The baby cries, being cold and hungry, oblivious to what is going on around him.
Suddenly, the ground near the corpse's shifts, cracking and raising as a bony hand rips out and drags itself out. The figure is wearing a muddy, black cloak, twisting his body and causing it to crack around his joints before he stands. The cloak hides most of his features, his hood hiding his face, but sharp, glowing, yellow irises glance around the area, looking confused. The person soon coughs and breathes deeply, almost like he forgot to breathe and glances at the Nine Tails. His eyes slowly drift down at the two bodies and the naked baby, looking fussy as he tries to fall asleep. "Well…that explains the ruckus…two bodies, the body of the Nine Tails, and a naked baby…must've been worth watching. Shame I missed the action." He says, his voice rough and tired. He coughs a little more and his tongue soon wipes around his mouth, trying to get moisture in his mouth. He soon steps over Kushina and walks over to the infant, crouching down and has his bony, pale hand hover over the infant's head. A few seconds pass and he pulls his hand back and a chuckle follows. "You're a very important…shame you wouldn't of lasted long enough." He remarks, carefully picking up the baby, for some reason, not wanting to make skin contact. "Best take you, you really are important." He says before coughing a little more and looks towards the deceased couple. "I shall look after your child, he has to survive…I bid you a good day." He tells them, bowing his head a little before sinking into the ground.
The barrier crumbles shortly after, Hiruzen and his ANBU squad appear in the area. They look at round and soon are shocked, seeing the Nine Tails dead and the Fourth Hokage head, along with his wife. "The Fourth…is dead…" One of the ANBU whispers in shock.
Hiruzen grits his teeth, sad of losing a friend and so many young lives. "…This truly is a tragic day…for all of us. We've lost many comrades and villagers, our homes and we've lost the Fourth Hokage…and Kushina Uzumaki…" Hiruzen says, looking down and morns the loss of so many.
"At least the Nine Tails is dead…" One of the ANBU says with some hope, looking at the Nine Tails decompose and even crumbles away in some areas, soon witnessing one of its ears fall off.
Hiruzen looks up, glancing round and feels some panic. "The child…where is their child?" Hiruzen questions, looking round and seeing a small pillow, seeing an imprint on it which he can only guess is the baby. Hiruzen looks at a dog masked ANBU with a questioning look.
The ANBU sniffs the air, tilting his head slightly in confusion. "I'm not sure…I can smell someone. But it smells of death and decay…beyond those I can smell…" The ANBU says with some concern. "I can't pin…but I definitely smell childbirth." He says and looks towards Kushina, examining her closely.
Hiruzen becomes worried, looking round in the hope of finding any trace of evidence of where the infant is or the 'decay' person his ANBU is smelling. "Can you find no trace to follow?"
The ANBU sniffs some more, lowering his head and shaking it. "No, it starts and ends here. I have nothing to go on."
"Take half the ANBU and search the area, try and find something to follow!"
The ANBU nod in response, soon making a hand signal and vanishes with said half ANBU, leaving the rest to secure the area. Hiruzen sighs and feels his age for the first time, he kneels down beside the Fourth Hokage and his wife's body, looking depressed as he looks at them. "If your child is still alive…I will find him, Minato…Kushina." The Hokage vows.
It has been several years since the unfortunate Kyuubi attack. The village has repaired itself, people have mourned and people have tried to forget, but most never could. Within the Hokage's tower, the Third Hokage is talking with two Jonin and the small group who accompanies them. "I've got a high rank C to B rank mission for you all; an outpost has been attacked by a group of bandits recently, and your group is going to replace them. The Shinobi that you will replace will return here to get treated for any and all injuries sustained. After they're relieved, you will all be required to search the area." The Third Hokage informs them, gaining an odd look from the group.
"Mind if I ask why?" The grey haired Jonin asks, having the characteristics of a scarecrow and a Leaf headband over his left eye.
"There're reports of unusual activities within that area, I wish you to examine it carefully." Their leader says, waving the two Jonin, Kakashi and his friend/rival Gai over to him. "Our forces that were stationed at the outpost weren't the ones to drive the bandits off. You're to examine the cause of it...and I have a strong belief that it's possibly human...or at least I assume it is." Hiruzen tells them, looking at Kakashi. "You shall be the squad leader in this mission, I hope you find the cause, and I'll leave it to you to decide how to deal with it." The Hokage said, looking at the men.
"And yet again, my rival Kakashi beats me from leading the group." Gai says to himself. Seeing Kakashi casually reading his book, as if it was nothing, he turns away crying to himself "Damn you Kakashi, acting like your cool self!"
"Alright, then." Kakashi says, closing his book and looks at the Hokage. "Anything else that we should know?"
The Hokage looks a little troubled for a second. "No...Just be careful." He tells them. As they left the room, the Hokage sighed in frustration. "I hope it really is him this time, not just false hope again." He whispers to himself, remembering someone that travelled to the outpost reporting a dirty, blond 'forest boy' who had saved their caravan from a bandit attack.
Three hours later, Kakashi, Gai and the others dropped down from the trees outside the Outpost. It was slightly ruined in the attack and still smoking. Another ninja soon dropped down to greet them, a small cut and blood stains on his arm. "I assume that you're here to relieve us, or you're just passing through... I hope that it's the first, because a few of our numbers were injured badly when the bandits attacked."
"We're here to relieve you; I hope you and your youthful companions have a safe journey back." Gai smiled, giving a shiny thumbs up to the man. "And we'll search the ever youthful forest for any hidden dangerous! And if we don't, then I will run deeper in the forest until I find something!" Gai yells, clenching his fist tightly and tears run down his cheek.
"...Does he act like this all the time?" The ninja asks, a little nervous.
"Sadly...yes." Kakashi informs him, rubbing his neck in slight embarrassment.
"I feel sorry for you." The ninja says, quickly heading back to the outpost to inform the ninja that they're relieved and can head to the village.
"Wait!" Kakashi calls, making him turn back. "Have there been any odd sightings around here, like an animal or phenomenon?" Kakashi asks, confusing the man, as well as his team.
"Well, there have been some sightings of something fast in the forest, some people that travel through here say that it's the spirit of the forest. Personally, I think it's a crock: I've heard the same thing in different areas of the Fire Nation. This one's apparently a small boy." The ninja says, looking northwards and pointing. "Most claim to see him in that direction. Had a couple look over there, but nothing." He looks at the team, and realises one of them was an Inuzuka. "Maybe you'll have more luck. If the legends are true, that is."
Kakashi nods as the man walks away. Soon the group watch the ninja stationed in the outpost pack up quickly and leave, some badly wounded, but mobile. "Hope you will all be okay." Kakashi says, gaining waves from some of the relieved group.
"So, what shall we do, my rival?" Gai asked, cupping his chin and smirking.
Kakashi didn't seem to notice and Gai was soon crying as Kakashi looked at the group. "We'll quickly secure that outpost; repair any damage if it requires immediate attention. Then we'll take a quick scan of the surrounding area." Kakashi says, gaining a nod from the group.
An hour later, the outpost was wall but fully repaired. A group were scanning the area north, breaking into smaller groups a mile away from the outpost to cover more ground. They were tired since they were moving a lot, walking around trees that were even bigger than the outpost.
"This is taking too long! I'm wasting my precious youth walking when I should be running!" Gai yells, doing bum clenches and freaking out the others on the team.
"If you keep being that loud, it'll remove any chances of us finding any trace of this 'forest boy' we're looking for." Kakashi says with a shushed voice. "Now stop that and look." Indicating at Gai's bum clenches.
Gai sighs and starts looking, making the other two sigh in relief that he stopped the clenches. A twig snapping is heard, making the four ninja and dog stop in their tracks, they look at each other and soon at the Inuzuka, who shrugs in response since he didn't smell anything. Movement was heard again, and they saw something fast move out of the bushes: it was human shaped.
The group quickly gave chase. Whatever it was, it was small and fast, and they were finding it hard to follow him. "I must admire this thing's speed!" Gai yells, laughing as he found it entertaining to try and keep pace.
"Yeah, this thing must know this terrain even more than me!" the Inuzuka yells, having been on many trips to learn the terrain surrounding the village.
"Then we'll have to make it move to an area we know better, or maybe into the open so we can take it down!" Gai yells, trying to move faster, but the branches of all the trees were getting in the way. "Or, we can keep chasing it till it gets tired or we manage to grab it."
"Let's try open areas, so we know what we're dealing with." Kakashi decides and performed a seal. "Shadow Clone Jutsu!" he yells: five Kakashi's appear and separate in different directions, the others soon following him.
Ten minutes later, the group were managing to move their target towards an open meadow that the Inuzuka knew about. The thing soon jumped out of the forest, landing on the ground and tries to move back into the forest. Gai stood before him, with a triumphant smile on his face. "Ah, you tried very hard my little...muddy …friend..." Gai began, then looks more closely at the muddy thing.
It was a young boy, around the age of nine. He has long, dirty, untrimmed hair that reached near his backside, or at least he thought it was blond, since there are patches of green and mud everywhere. He is very skinny and wore something that resembled trousers, again, hard to tell since there was fresh mud and grass everywhere. The boy looks around carefully, sniffing the air. He spots a large, broken branch sticking out of the ground near him just as he heard movement behind him. He grabs the stick and swung around, hitting Kakashi who is surprised and explodes in a cloud of smoke.
"Now this kid knows how to fight." Gai smiles, wanting to take on the child that defeated Kakashi's clone.
The boy dropsd the stick and started calling out. "Onbuu! Onbuu!", He yells, repeating the call and making Gai and the others confused.
"What the hell does Onbuu mean? Does he mean ANBU?" The Inuzuka ponders, gaining a scared whining from his dog.
"How didn't you smell that kid?" The last of the group, a female asks. She notes that Gai is about to charge and tackle the child.
Something large lands on the branches above them, making them jump. It was a giant creature, but didn't get a full view as the creature smashes its arm into the woman, sending her flying before tackling the Inuzuka clan member and his dog.
Gai moves forward, about to run to the boy and grab him, but something grabs his ankle, making him fall and hit the ground, before he is yanked and held upside down. He is startled to say the least, especially when he looks at what grabbed him; it looks like a giant white furry bear/monkey animal with a mean look on its face.
"What are you, my strange, furry friend?" Gai yells with surprise, before spinning and kicking the presumed Onbuu in the head and made it fly a few feet away, landing on the ground before turning to the boy. To Gai's surprise, he was gone, and nothing but the sound of fighting in the forest indicated where he had disappeared to. "Ah! For fooling for such an obvious decoy, I'll do 1000 push ups with one hand tied behind my back!" Gai yells, annoyed with himself. He is suddenly grabbed from behind and cringed in pain. Getting a whiff of his captor, he looked up at the, now pissed off, Onbuu holding him. "You're back my hairy...strong smelling friend." Gai said between gasps for air.
"Do you need help Gai?" Kakashi asked from a distance, with his Shadow Clones fighting another Onbuu in the background.
"No thanks, Kakashi! I'll beat this thing in five minutes … no, two minutes … no, one minute!" He yelled back.
"Alright." Kakashi says before puffing into smoke, revealing that he was a Shadow Clone.
Kakashi is tailing the boy closely, running on the tree branches. He launches forward, aiming to grab the child's arm, but the child dived to the forest floor, causing Kakashi to go off balance. He quickly looked at the ground from the trees, trying to spot him, but couldn't, unfortunately. Kakashi is confused that the child seems to have disappeared into thin air. He sighs and placed his hand in his weapons pouch, cutting his thumb with a kunai. "Summoning Jutsu!" He yells and slams his hand on the branch.
A puff of smoke came. "What's up Kakashi?" A voice asks.
"Pakkun, I need you to find a child." Kakashi said. "He's around here somewhere but disappeared."
Pakkun sniffs the air. "Bit tricky, but I can smell fresh sweat…smells like a boy...and he's close." Pakkun says as he drops to the ground with Kakashi following. Pakkun follows the trail towards a large tree. "He's somewhere in there." Pakkun points with his paw at the tree's roots.
Kakashi looks closely at the tree, looking at the large roots until he notices a hole between the largest root and the ground. "I think I found it." Kakashi informs him while walking towards the hole. He saw it was large enough for him to squeeze through. "Pakkun, see that Gai and the others reach this place." Kakashi asked.
"No problem Kakashi." He replies before running off.
Kakashi slides into the hole to finds a large tunnel which led further underground; he walks down, soon reaching something that looks like a room or a cave. He looks round carefully and saw other doorways to other rooms and another tunnel which led deeper underground. Kakashi is confused, examining the area carefully. The room seems to resemble a temple of some kind, the place made from stone, but covered in dirt and darkened with age. He soon saw the boy at the very back, close to the other tunnel. "Get...out!" The boy yells, standing in the most aggressive way he could, obviously finding it hard to talk.
"I'm not here to hurt you, I just want to talk." Kakashi raises his hands, showing that he meant no harm. The boy didn't listen and charges very quickly at Kakashi. He nearly hits Kakashi, but the man manages to dodge and grabs the boy from behind. "I said I don't want to …" Kakashi began, before the boy slammed the back of his head into Kakashi's face. He releases the boy and held his face in pain. 'What's that boy's head made of!?' Kakashi yells to himself. He looks up to see him bolting towards the exit. "Wait! I just want to talk!" Kakashi yells and rushes forward, jumping and lands on his side, sliding across the ground and his foot smashes into the front of the boy's shins. The boy hits the floor and Kakashi grabs the boys' ankles, pulling him close and quickly pins him to the ground, pulling his arm back and using all his strength to make sure the boy doesn't move.
The boy growls, feeling pain and his nails strap against the ground, trying to pull himself away. "Get…off!" The boy yells, growling as Kakashi holds him there.
"I can't…Lord Hokage told me to find whatever caused…that doesn't matter. Right now, I think the Hokage will want to meet you." Kakashi explains, feeling the boy tense a little, making him curious.
"H-Hokage…" The boy whispers, sounding surprised.
"Yes…" Kakashi responds, noticing the boy's voice. "Mind if we talk?"
The boy seems more confused, hearing Kakashi wanting to talk and looks round as best as he could. "Talk? Haven't...talk...long...time." The boy said, thinking hard for every word. The boy growls and moves one of his legs, moving his knee to his chest and the tips of his toes digging into the stone. He smirks and uses the strength in his leg and surprises Kakashi. The two fly upwards and Kakashi hits the roof, making it crack and the boy hits the ground and rolls away. Kakashi lands on the ground, coughing in pain and looks at the boy, breathing deeply.
"That…That's some…strength…you have." Kakashi says, looking at the boy carefully, but sees that he doesn't run. He takes a couple more breaths and speaks once again. "When was the last time you talked to someone?"
"Long time...man...left." The boy says, jaw hurting from trying to talk this much.
"What man?" Kakashi asks in interest, but knew that the boy couldn't say much.
"Norio...called...Norio." The boy tells him.
"Okay, and do you have a name?"
"Called...don't...know..." He replies, thinking hard. "Boy…Last..." The boy mumbles the last part and Kakashi didn't hear.
"Well...I'm Kakashi Hatake, if you wanted to know." He tells him, trying to sound nice, but his back hurts.
"Kakashi...Hatake..." The boy repeats, trying to memorise the name.
"Yes, and I've got a team, I'm sure they'll like to meet you."
The boy looks at him, slightly confused and nods. "...Sure..."
Kakashi sighs in relief and rubs his face, still feeling pain as the two walk back through the tunnel. When they reach the outside Kakashi hopes that he wouldn't run. "Is there anything that that belongs to you in there?" Kakashi asked.
"...No...Not…mine..." Naruto says, making Kakashi a little confused since he could only see trousers that seemed to belong to him and nothing else.
While the two were waiting for the others to arrive, Kakashi stayed several feet away from the boy since he smelled a little rancid. Gai, Pakkun and the others jump into view from a tree and land next to them. "Ah Kakashi, I see that you captured the strange boy." Gai says with a smile and a wink.
"No actually, I just said you guys wanted to meet him." Kakashi says, looking and seeing a few bandages. "And he seems to respond to the word Hokage, so it may be something familiar with him." Kakashi whispers, gaining nods
"Okay then." The female Kunoichi says, bending down and looking at the boy, a nervous smile on her face.
"How did you lot escape from those animals, anyway?"
"I just knocked it out with a few punches; they went down." Gai says proudly.
"They...hard." The boy says, looking at the green spandex man.
"Yeah, but nothing ever beats Maito Gai!" Gai laughs, punching the air a few times.
"...Maito...Gai..." The boy says, making the ninja look at the boy in slight confusion at the way he said Gai's name.
"Yeah...so why is there a boy in the forest...covered in something from the forest..." The Inuzuzka says, looking round while he scratches his dog's head.
"Not sure, seems he was here with someone, but they left." Kakashi says, looking to see the boy looking uncomfortable as the people kept looking at him in interest. "So...would you like to come with us?" Kakashi asks the boy, now gaining everyone's attention. "Cause I thought the Hokage would want to meet him...understand?"
They nod and look back at the boy. "So, would you like to come? It'll be like a little adventure." The Inuzuka says, gaining an interested look from the boy.
"You can see where we live...and it'll be nice to see our Hokage." The woman says.
"...Hokage…" The boy says, his voice not showing any signs of confusion or any emotion whatsoever.
The Inuzuka misinterprets and speaks up. "Our pack leader." The Inuzuka informs him, gaining a nod from the boy, believing it as a nod of understanding. "You get to see our living area, we've already seen where you live...and for some reason, I've never been around this area..."
"Okay...Sure...N-Norio…said…see…Hokage…" The boy says, sniffing the air a little and looks at the giant, ancient tree he hid within.
The squad look confused, some wanting to pry, but they see the boy rub his jaw in pain from talking. "Norio?" The woman asks Kakashi, confusion.
"Don't know, he mentioned the name before. It could be the person who looked after him." Kakashi tells them, gaining an unusual nod.
"Well then, I'll see you later Kakashi." Pakkun says, waving and puffing into smoke, startling the boy slightly.
"He was Pakkun, he was a ninja hound summoning." Kakashi says. "So, do you want to come with us? If you don't like it, you can leave to come back to this place." Kakashi tells, gaining a nod from the boy and they began to walk.
After a few hours, the team split up; the Inuzuka and Kunoichi heading for the outpost, Gai and Kakashi walking with the boy until they reach the Hidden Leaf village. They were just outside the Hokage's office; Kakashi knocks on the door and wait for a reply. "Come in!" came a voice. The boy is highly interested by what he was seeing: a large village, interesting smells and many people. However, having only spent his time with only animals, he was feeling claustrophobia for the first time ever. He felt eyes on him, not sure why, oblivious that his attire is unusual and the musky scent is strong to the nose. He tries to stay calm, since he wasn't use to seeing so many people. You name it, he was stunned by it. They were soon met by the elderly Hokage and the boy looks in interest, never having actually seen a man as old as him.
The Hokage sat behind his desk, reading through notes and stamping bits of paper. "Ah, Kakashi, Gai, I'm glad to see that you're back this early, and I see that you've brought someone." He says, a nice smile on his face trying to make the boy feel more at ease. 'Yes, he must be...under all that dirt, he looks almost like his parents.' The Hokage thought, remembering how Minato and Kushina looked when they were children. He soon remembers Minato telling the name of his unborn child.
"Yes, we had trouble trying to catch our little friend; he's fast on his feet." Gai patted the kid on the shoulder, making him jump.
"Really? You even gave Gai trouble?" The Hokage said in interest, chuckling a little.
"Yeah..." The boy replies, sounding a bit nervous.
"Let me introduce myself: I'm Hiruzen Sarutobi, the Third Hokage." The Hokage introduced himself.
"...Hiruzen...Sarutobi...The...Third...Hokage." He repeats, making the Hokage confused.
"And I think I know who you are." The Hokage tells them, gaining his and the Jonin's interest. "Your name is Naruto, and I knew your parents." He finishes, making Kakashi eyes roll.
'Of course, that's why he looks familiar...if you look under the mud.' He said to himself, remembering his sensei naming his then unborn child.
"Your parents' names were Kushina Uzumaki, and Minato Namikaze." The Hokage told him.
"…Kushina…Uzumaki…Minato…Namukaze…" Naruto repeats, looking confused.
"This is the great Yondaime legacy?" Gai asks, sounding astonished and slightly surprised that he was Minato's child.
"Yes." The Hokage says, smiling a little as he leans forward. "So Naruto...Do you want to stay in this village with us?" The old man offers.
Naruto is confused, sweating a little, slightly scared. He looks outside the window, seeing the village active he wondered if he could. "...Don't...know..." Naruto says, soon feeling calm as he tries to think. "Y-Yeah..." Naruto says, remembering Norio saying to go to the Hokage before he left, guessing he meant this. He doesn't quite feel ready for this, yet he does feel like he has to do this at the same time. "Yeah..." Naruto says, soon smirking and looking at the old man.
The third Hokage smiled back. "Great, I know of a small apartment nearby, and we're going to have to have someone teach you about the Hidden Leaf village's rules and how to look after yourself properly." The Hokage got up from behind his desk. "Then we can perhaps let you into the Academy as a late bloomer. But seeing as you were able to give trouble to both Kakashi and Gai, you'll probably be in the same age group, but you'll have to be taught about Chakra and its purpose. I hope you feel comfortable here, and if you ever have trouble, I'll be right here." Sarutobi said, hoping that Naruto would stay.
"...You said...lots...words...don't know." Naruto simply replies.
"Are you sure that this is a good idea?" Kakashi sighs, making Sarutobi chuckle while Naruto looks round, wondering if he should just run back to the forest. From the window he saw a few forest areas within the village, he thought that they'd be his calming places and decided to stay.
Sleepless D: This is the updated of an update first chapter, rad the update statement at the top. Peace out.